Alan Dix is a Professor in the HCI Centre at the University of Birmingham and Senior Researcher at Talis. He has worked in human–computer interaction research since the mid 1980s, and is the author of one of the major international textbooks on HCI as well as of over 400 research publications covering topics from formal methods to creativity including some of the earliest papers in HCI on topics including privacy and mobile interaction. In 2013 he produced an HCI MOOC that is now hosted at InteractionDesign.org and in the same year he walked 1000 miles round the coast of Wales. The data from the latter is available in the public domain as an ‘open science’ resource. Many recent projects have a data theme including an analysis of the UK REF public domain data and working with musicologists on re-imagining digital archives for the humanities. He organises a twice yearly workshop, Tiree Tech Wave, on the small Scottish island where he lives, and where he has been engaged in a number of projects relating to heritage , communications, energy use and open data. His Talis research is focused on aspects of education including learning analytics and flipped class teaching, often using HCI educational resources as exemplars.
In 1994 I wrote the first journal paper on mobile systems from a HCI perspective; the focus of that paper was connectivity rather than screen-size. Twenty years on, in 2013 I walked the complete periphery of Wales, over one thousand miles: up Offa's Dyke (calling in Wrexham Glyndwr University en route), and then all around the coast. Amongst other outcomes of this journey was a lived experience of the paucity of mobile and internet access 'at the margins' – the problem has not gone away. However, you do not have to travel into the rural extremes to experience poor connectivity: business hotel WiFi often saturates and even for those living in cities mobile coverage drops once you travel by train, or even in urban 'not-spots'. Furthermore, many in rented accommodation rely solely on mobile internet.
This would be bad enough for those affected, but many applications fail in avoidable ways when connectivity is poor or intermittent. For example, the Twitter API wraps every 140 character tweet into 5-10K of JSON or XML and many mobile Twitter apps download 50 items of the feed before allowing interaction; that is a quarter to half of a megabyte – impossible in areas of poor connectivity.
This talk will present ways to design both the user experience and the underlying application, data and networking infrastructure to cope with poor or intermittent connectivity.
This is important from a business perspective if you want applications that work anywhere for anyone, but perhaps more critically from a social perspective. Those at the social, physical and economic margins will, for the foreseeable future, have less effective connectivity than those who are more privileged, if we are to shrink rather than grow the digital divide, we must truly seek to design for all.
Professor Alan Dix
Dan Farkas is a Professor in the Information Technology department in the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University. He is the founder and current Chair of the AIS Special Interest group on GIS (SIGGIS). At Pace, he has been innovative in developing curriculum in Computer Security, Web Development and Geographic Information Systems. Dan has given tutorials and workshops on Networking, Linux Administration, and GIS concepts nationally and internationally for over 30 years. Interdisciplinary at heart, he holds a BA in History, MS in Computer Science and PhD in Educational Technology from New York University. Supporting his interest and research in Environmental Conservation, he has an MS in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.
Location is at center of the most exciting and innovative technologies emerging today. Along with traditional applications, GIS is fundamental to the Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, social media analysis, and the sharing economy. Leveraging hardware, software, cloud computing, big data and analytics, these technologies involves a broad spectrum of expertise including software development, computer networking and mobile technologies. Many disciplines and business sectors have location analytics at their core and from healthcare, to efficient routing in delivery systems, to environmental management, to deciding where to locate the next Starbucks, the impact of GIS is ever-present. Dan’s presentation will give a brief overview of GIS concepts, discuss its influence on existing and emerging applications and describe some of his own research and projects in healthcare, environmental conservation, and criminal justice.
Professor Dan Farkas